Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The good and bad of losing weight

What to do, what to do. On the bright side I'm losing the weight, that is never a bad thing. I have a closet filled with clothes that I bought at my goal weight. I can't wait to get into them!

The hard part, though, is what to do now. Those cute flip-flop pants I made this past summer no longer fit. With all the topstitching there is no way I'm going to fix them. Luckily the denim skirt I made at the same time can be easily taken in. The two tees I made are also too big. I'm planning to convert the maroon one into a tank and I think the green one will become a baby romper for my coming niece/nephew. Those really aren't the issue since I figured that would happen when I made all that stuff.

The thing is that I'm now wanting to sew and sew and sew but I'm having a hard time deciding what to sew. There is a pant pattern in Burda I really want to try but do I make it now and risk not wearing them before I lose the weight? I can't make them smaller, pants are horrendous to fit as it is. Then there is the round neck sheath I want to make from the newest Ottobre Woman. Uhm... maybe I should look at a sheath that would be relatively easy to take in, only I think I already have one in my goal size.

So far I'm stuck on making pjs- I made myself 2 yesterday. But really how many pjs does one person need? Well I decided I could make myself a lightweight jacket, that could be slightly big and still be fine. I pulled out and traced jacket 13 from the newest Ottobre Women's Issue- boy does it have a lot of pieces. I even pulled out a great fabric- well, I'm sure this choice would put me on the worst dressed list, but I would be there with a smile on my face.

But alas I did not cut. Unfortunately I do not have a good match for the lining. Not sure what I'm going to do. Now I'm back to my sewing cross-roads, what to sew while I lose weight.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Serge as You Go Quilt

I have been so inspired by the quilts that have been flooding the Runway on Sewing Mamas lately. Seriously beautiful work. That said, I have no patience for that sort of thing. Luckily there is the Serge as You Go Baby Quilt! I made this last year, or maybe it was the year before, for my grandmother and just loved it. Super easy and fast.

Well when my brother and sil got married in 2006, I bought this collection Italy, France, wine -inspired fabric to make them a quilt as a gift. Of course, it didn't get done. Amazing how time passes. Anyway I finally made them theirs and it looks great, even my husband likes it! It will be their Christmas present this year.

McCalls 4664 and an Otto Hoodie

I am really unmotivated to work out in general, so of course every time I decide to get back on track I need to inspirational clothes. Since we're short on cash right now, I decided to sew up some stuff. Luckily I had this lush grey cotton velour in my stash. Its so fun to touch. I also used some of the pima cotton for the tank.

Both the pants and the tank are from McCalls 4664. Surprisingly I really like the tank. I lengthed it but otherwise the pattern was fine. The pants, however, are a continuing work in progress. You'd think that sweatpants would be a breeze but I really want them to fit right. So this is the third attempt at this pattern and I think I almost have it. I need to cut down the front crotch seam about an inch more next time.
But really the best part of the outfit is the hoodie! I'm so excited. I seriously had a total crazy hair when I did this. The pattern is from the Children's Ottobre 4/2007, #34, a girl's hoodie. I up-sized the pattern, added lenght and width. I got the inspiration from That Darn Kat, she posted a pic on Sewing Mamas. Hers turned out so nice I decided I had to try it.

Well that was one thing, but then I decided I need to embroider the thing. Not a simple little embroidery but a beautiful floral I got from Embroidery Library that had 13000+ stitches! Not only that I used my endless hoop and ran it down the front of the hoodie- 5 separate hopings. I was seriously praying this thing would fit after all that!

Turns out the hoodie was slightly wide but that was easy to fix. I wish I had done a better job on the front cross binding, so I may go back and fix that but otherwise I love it! Of course, the minute I finished it the weather warmed up so I haven't been able to really wear it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

So much sewing!

I have been sewing up a storm lately. Its fabulous. I feel so productive. Downside is my house is a mess, my husband is feeling abandoned and my 3-year-old surprised the speech therapist by correctly answering that you use a thread and needle to sew. She told me that she had never had a child that young answer that question correctly.

Of course, getting the pictures up is another story. They are all sitting on my computer waiting for editing. I like to put the pattern number and size on the pic to make it easier to remember what I've made and what I've liked.

So far in this sewing frenzy I've made jeans for my little one out of my husband's old jeans. Several outfits for my nephew for either Christmas or his Christening, depending on how fast he grows between now and then. Jammas for a friend's child, late birthday gift. A new version of my grocery bag that converts to a backpack for walking to and from the store or farmer's market. I'm going to have my sil test it out. I'm also finishing up 2 t-shirts for same sil from the knit fabric she chose in Peru. I made a long-sleeve tee for my brother too. My little one got a Superman costume for Halloween, still need to make the shoe covers for it though. And I made myself 2 tunics from the newest Ottobre Women's issue. Also new Rose Tee with 3/4 sleeves, a velour sweatsuit, tank top and a bunch of underwear. I tested my adapted pattern of the cross-over top from Ottobre, which I made into a nightgown. I had just enough of the fabric left over to make a little baby gown which of course meant that that is now a set. Too bad I don't know anyone about my size having a baby girl. Goodness I have been busy!

If you can believe it, I also started my Christmas sewing! I finished an enlarged version of the Serger Baby Quilt for my brother and sil. I'm planning another for my other sil. I figure I can start on the things that I don't need measurements for. I started my list and as usual its a mile long! Well that will be another time. Off to finish my current projects.

Oh and thats the best part, I'm finishing projects!!!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rose Tee from Ottobre

I actually made these in June but didn't get the finishing details done until after our move in August. Of course, thats when I realized they were too big. Mind you, I'm still wearing them. In fact I'm wearing the Rose Tee now (green one).

Overall I like the pattern, fairly easy to put together. The V-neck on the Rose Tee gave me fits and still doesn't look great. I used a satin and it was so slippery I just did not get it lined up right. For the next one I'm going to try a less slippery fabric. I do like the woven and the knit together. I did cut the sleeve bands on the bias since I have larger arms and thought a bit of stretch would be nice. Surprisingly those are great. I love the way the sleeves turned out, which explains why I'm ignoring the neck and wearing the shirt anyway.

The maroon Tee was made with the sleeves of the Rose Tee since I liked the puffy sleeve. Its the scoop neck from the same issue. Really easy to put together. I made a 46, which included the gathering on the side which was easy enough but too high for me (ie I guess my cans aren't as perky as they should be). Turns out, though, that the 44 does not include the gathering so I won't be dealing with that on my next version. I did a thin binding for the neck instead of doing their way and then coverstitched, which I think turned out great. I'm getting so much better at that!

I'll definitely be making a few more when I get back, with my new knits.

Big Intentions

So I had to leave the country for a family emergency so I went ahead an uploaded a bunch of pics of some sewing I had been doing so that in my "spare" time I could update my blog while I was here. Yes, you can laugh now. Oh well. I'm going to try and do some today, we'll see how it goes.

On the upside, I was able to alleviate some of my sewing withdrawls with a bit of shopping. I found some old issues of Burda, one in English and a few in Spanish, and a couple, so far, of Patrones! I'm surprisingly excited about the Patrones issues. I didn't expect to be so excited since I tend to wear more simple stuff. I'm itching to get home and see what I have in my stash to try out the patterns. I also raided my mother's stash for 3 fabrics that would be prefect for a dress from one of the Burdas and a blouse from one of the Patrones. Funny thing is those 2 fabrics were originally mine! Her stash is made up of my casts-off, but then since she rarely sews, they tend to just hang out there. I did get a third fabric which is a purple/cream/lime green Boucle that is really great for a short jacket from one of the Patrones. I'm still combing the newstands and mercados for more issues, wish me luck.

I also bought a ton of plain Pima cotton knits in various colors, its just beautiful. Very, very soft. I'm hoping they wash and wear well since the closest in quality I've found stateside is about $12 a yard, this was far less. Thats the story for now. I'll post pics later.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Women's Ottobre pants patterns

I've actually been really liking the fit on these patterns for me. Other than my usual swayback, I didn't need any other alterations. Pretty cool. I'm going to try a pair of jeans next.

These pants were from Ottobre Kids issue 1/2005, the linen capris. I thought they were a bit more like high-waters rather than capris so I just added 2 inches to the length and made them pants. They are a linen embroidered with flip-flops, I think its cute but my husband thinks they look like pjs!
Next are the linen capris from Ottobre Womens issue 2/2007. The striped pair are the pattern as is, then I made 2 shorts using the same pattern. I don't have a pic of the black pair- black linen with embroidered circles. The bonus about the shorts is that they were from the remnants bin at JAs when the linen was already on sale so I think the brown shorts were less than a dollar! I already had the zipper and button. Gotta love it.

I made the other capris from this same issue. I have to take some pics and upload them later.

But this fabric is by far my favorite remnant bin find! Embroidered denim, slightly less than a yard for $3! I will admit that this skirt turned out a bit too wide at the bottom because of the denim. I'm planning to take it in a bit but otherwise it fit great.
I also have the Rose Top and the Puffed Sleeved Tee from the 2/2007 issue that need hemming so I'll post those later. Overall I'm really enjoying these magazines, I have a ton of post-its hanging out waiting to made!

Time sure flies...

when you're sewing up a storm and moving cross-country! Craziness has been abounding around here. I finally unpacked my sewing machines so I thought it would be a good time to update here.

My niece's prom dress looked great on her. I wasn't as thrilled about it but she was so thats what counts. Unfortunately I have no pic, sorry.

On other sewing fronts I spent the few weeks leading up to our move sewing up as many summer things as I could as I have "outgrown" my old stuff. Since we were going to California I, naturally, assumed I might need them. Not so much! Oh well.

I have to come up with a plan now. As I was unpacking my fabric I got a million and one ideas. I was finding fabrics I hadn't really looked at in a year. Uhm... I'm thinking I need to do a mini-wardrobe or something like that to get focused. I'm going to browse PR and see whats up over there.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm an Auntie to another boy!

My sil went into labor early this past weekend but all went well, mom and new baby boy are doing good. So, of course, that meant procrastination was done! I worked all Sunday on the cushion covers and the box is sitting outside my door waiting for UPS. Yipee! I think they turned out pretty good but plain. I have some extra fabric so I'm thinking of making a pillow or a head rest with the baby's name or monogram. We'll see.

Off to work on the prom dress!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Procrastination Zone

I'm seriously procrastinating from doing the things I have to do- niece's prom dress and the covers for sil's nursing chair. Both projects need to be done by May, the earlier the better even though Prom is the 31st and due date is the 29th. Both "clients" are a bit anxious. Personally I'm the type that is still sewing 5 minutes before my date comes to the door. Oh well.

In the meantime, of course, I've been doing other stuff. Made another McCalls 5271, only this time the fabric was too stretchy so I'm going to have to fix it- will take off the bottom band, shorten and put in a center seam to pull in the shoulders a bit. I also have one cut out for my mom plus I modified the pattern for a higher neck to wear without an underlayer. That one is cut too. I'll post pics when they are all done. What else... I cut 2 pairs of pj pants for my nephew who turns 15 next week. Wow time has really flown by, I still remember him as an adorable 4 year old.

Well since Photobucket is not cooperating (and pics are on the other computer) I'll post pics later.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Presents for the Girls

My ds was invited to a birthday party last week so I had to whip up this outfit. I so need a girl to sew for! My nieces don't count since this will really be the last year I can make such girlie outfits for those girls. Bummer.
And the reverse-side:
I also made a taggie blanket and ball for a baby girl born to a Norwegian couple here. The embroidery says "Born in the USA."

Baby Bounty!

My sil had her baby shower a few weeks back so I sent a few items. I held back since they don't know if the baby will be a boy or a girl. Much more fun to sew specific- plus I can do more embroidery that way. Whatever. I still had fun. They are doing a seaside theme for the nursery but unfortunately I picked out the fabric before I got the final color line up. Its more of the brown and blue seaside in the nursery. I like my fabric better!

First up is the baby bunting, weird pattern (Simplicity 7418) . It was easy to put together but odd to put on baby. It sort of opens up completely on the top, you slide the baby's legs in then fold over the top and snap the arms together and the shirt together. Then fold up the bottom and snap the huggie arms over that . Its still cute.

Here are the burps and bibs. The burps are the New Conceptions freebie pattern plus some long narrow ones like the Carter's ones I saw at the store. The bibs are a traced pattern from a bib I liked for ds.

I also made a hooded towel, some washcloths and a double layer flannel receiving blanket. Everything was simply serged together, well the blanket was also quilted together.

Lastly the taggie blanket and ball.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Robot Fleece

I thought this fleece material was so cute plus I noticed that ds was growing out of his current fleece so why not. I used the holey pocket tutorial on SewZannes for the pocket.

DS loves it! I did have to adjust the sizing on pattern (Butterick 5164). I cut a sz 2 width with a sz 4 length. I love that pattern- it sews up fast, just runs very large.

Froggie PJs for Me

So I've been playing with the Ottobre Design magazine- mostly boxers and baby stuff. The 1/05 issue had a women's top so I thought I'd try it out. It sewed up fast and other than my stretching the binding looks pretty good. The only trouble is that it is too tight on the bust- weird since I'm a B-cup. Its still cute and wearable.

Chances are I won't make this again- not so much for the tight issue but its way too modest for me.

Thank you Gifts- Grocery Bags

So I wanted to send my brother and sil a thank you gift but, you know, they are the kind of people who can buy anything but don't. They are so careful about each purchase they make, sometimes I envy that. Anyway, I decided to finally make them the grocery bags I had planned for Christmas. I used the same tutorial from Queenofdiy on Craftster that I had used for my bags. I did make a couple of changes based on my bags. First I made the pocket full-size since it fits a bottle of wine perfectly. Second I made the handles a tad longer and narrower, it might be because I have small hands but I found the bulk a bit much for me. Then I added an elastic on the pocket to use when folding the bag up.

On my sil's bags I used a snap and elastic to make it super easy. (mine just fold over) Also I made one of the bags for my sil with a convertible strap so that she could throw the bag over her shoulder if need be. (They mostly walk to the market.) I also used the leftover fabric to make a little bag which she told me would be perfect for those "delicate" items like soft cheeses and squishable fruit.

The Best part is that my Sil loved the bags!

That Darn'Kat Wallet

This wallet turned out really cute and it was much easier than I thought it would be. Of course, lazy me didn't double check the cc slots so the slots on the left were too big. I did makeshift them to work but definitely teaches me!

Here's the tutorial if you're interested.

More Vacation stuff

I know its been a while- I blame Photobucket entirely! Actually I should lay equal blame on Cox and photobucket, for whatever reason I have been unable to log on to photobucket for a few weeks. Anyway, excuses, excuses.... On the plus side I've been doing a lot of sewing so I guess its good I haven't been able to log on.

Here's the rest of my vacation stuff. These are some embroidered shirts I made for ds and for my nieces.

(The bottom two are ds'.)

I also made a t-shirt dress for my other niece:

And embroidered a onesie for my coming niece or nephew:

Oh and the soon-to-be also got my first Ottobre Design baby outfit:

So thats the vacation wrap up, finally!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vacation clothes

I don't know what it is about me but I always seem to need new clothes to go on vacation. Truthfully I dress better on vacation- weird. I'm thinking that I will be going through my closet this Spring with the idea that if I would not take it on vacation, I should not have it. Uhm... I wonder if that would help my wardrobe?

Anyway, so before I left for Sunny California, I decided to make a shirt for myself and embroider some tops for my little one. The funny thing is that while I was planning for 50s/60s, it turned out to be in the 60s/70s while we were there. I ended up at Target buying short sleeve shirts! Oh well.

This fabric is sort of velvety, the top turned out really nice but I think next time I would make it a tad longer, I didn't have enough fabric.

I also made the cardi-wrap from Threads/Sew Stylish, it turned out okay. I cut the armholes too big and too wide but it was just a muslin anyway.
The pic isn't great but I still hadn't packed so I just snapped these quickly.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Scrapbooking Tote

So I gave my sil and her girls a bunch of handbags and totes that I was bored with. Yes, I'm terrible about these things- I love to make them but then I'm over them. Anyway my sil liked one of the bags I made last spring for my trip to Australia. It was a modified version of McCalls P377 (renumbered 4851), I had made it smaller and changed the straps/pockets. She actually wanted the bag bigger in every direction so she could use it for lugging around her scrapbooking stuff. Cool, fun!

So, of course, it started with a trip to JoAnns for more fabric. Okay, it didn't have to but I have no willpower- they were having a 50% off all clearance fabric. The only good thing I can say about that trip is that I have used 4 of the fabrics I bought. If you really want to know thats 1/5th of the total fabric purchase.

One of the fabrics was the one I used on this bag. Its lined with a Bratz fabric that she actually gave me a few weeks ago, left over from her younger dd's room. I embroidered her initials and a surprise snowlady on the inside (she loves snowmen). I did change up the handles, wanted to try that technique- saw it on Sewing with Nancy while I was cutting out this bag.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Yes, I have been doing something....

Not much sewing in the first few weeks of February. I wasn't motivated and time was a bit limited, munchkin was going through a growth spurt that made him particularly cranky. And I thought that only happened to babies! Plus dh was finishing up his semester, so it was all in all an unproductive time.

But not all was lost. I was able to finally- again- set up my sewing room, organize and fix my fabrics. Here are some befores of the fabric-

Yeah, pretty bad. When we moved here I thought it would be great to roll the fabric like they do the remnants at JoAnns. I even measured and labeled. In the end I found it harder to really see my fabric.

So, of course, I came across the infamous ruler folding instructions and had to try it. I don't think she created the technique but she definitely brought it to my attention.

Check it out!

Doesn't it look pretty? I just love it.

And, just in case you're curious, here's the rest of the room, almost. I forgot to upload the pics of my machine corner, oh well.

Friday, February 8, 2008

McCalls 4471- swimsuit

So this swimsuit was a UFO, I'm not sure if it was on my list from before but it should have been. Anyway, I actually really enjoyed making this and cannot wait to make another despite its not an ideal fit. Funny.

The pattern is for a two-piece but the top was too short so I just sewed it to the bottom to make it a one-piece. I love the halter and the fit of the top. It has elastic on both sides of the bra top so it really stays put. I actually tested it out today. I played with the munchkin in the pool and even swam some laps. The only serious fit issue I had was that the bottom is a bit too narrow at the bottom of the bottom (rides up).

I'm definitely going to make this again. I was thinking of doing something like those that they had in the Land's End catalog that are "adjustable." Yup, I'm going to be making a swimsuit real soon!

UFO wrap up

I know its already almost 2 weeks into February! Well, the UFO contest went well, I finished 12 items, yipee!!

Unfortunately, I still have 12 more sitting around. What can you do? I'll save them for the next contest. I did end up throwing away the baby carrier, I don't need it and don't know anyone right now who would use it. Just needed to get it out of here.

This shirred shirt was my last project- I used my cording foot on my coverstitch machine to put the elastic cord then stretched the cord and sewed the seam. I just had the stretching and seam to do. I had already done the rolled hem on top and bottom as well as having stitched the rows- totally mind-numbing. Won't be making one of these again anytime soon.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Shirt for PG Sil

Yes more procrastination from UFOs over the weekend. I embroidered this shirt for my sil who just had a birthday. I just love the design and was itching to use it. Both the design and the font are from the wonderful digitizers on SewForum.

the Sock Bag

I'm not entirely sure why I had to make this bag- a friend on ivillage posted about it and, of course, I couldn't help myself. It is so cute and small. I'm not sure what I'll use it for since I don't knit, which is its intended purpose. Oh well.

The tutorial is from CrazyLanea and she also sells them, check out her site for the details. Its a great little project.

I'm thinking this one will end up as a birthday gift for the niece that got the matching spiral skirt.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

6 UFOs down, 7, 8, 9 to go

Well I'm half way done with the UFOs I found earlier this month. Unfortunately I've definitely found a few more since then. What can you do? I'm actually excited about the cut out swimsuit I found a couple of days ago. I bought the pattern and cut it out last year when I was having fits about RTW swimsuits. The fabric is this denim print, very cute and really intended as a working muslin. Anyway despite my trying to out-think the instructions the suit is turning out nicely. Hopefully I'll finish it up tomorrow.

So I have 4 more days to finish up my UFOs for the contest. Wish me luck.


Love it! More UFOs off the radar. I just love this bright orange car fabric for going to crowded places with the munchkin. Easier to spot in the crowd.

Now the second set of overalls were originally supposed to be Christmas pjs but since I cut them last year there was no way they would fit. Turns out that just the sleeves were too short so I turned it into overalls. I may go back and narrow the shoulder but then again, my dh has said- in no uncertain terms- that his child would not be allowed in public in those "clown pants." Oh well.

Christmas Apron

I am on an UFO roll! Woo Hoo! I finally, almost a decade later, put together the Christmas Apron. Looks good. I'm thinking I might embroider something for the back so I can use it now. We'll see, I'm just happen that its out of my to-d0 pile.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My IJ Hobo Bag- UFO

So I finished the bag- reworked the straps. Still not that in love with it but it works better than it did.
I'm so in the mood for a new bag but don't really want to put in the work. Uhm... I did help my niece make a bag last weekend, she was so thrilled with it. Gotta love that feeling. She did really well for her first time using a sewing machine. I didn't take a pic but maybe I'll do that tomorrow when I see her. Anyway I have to make arrangements to have her come out once a month- trading baby care for sewing lessons. Unfortunately she's too young to do real babysitting but she could entertain the little one elsewhere in the house while I work, that would be great. Well off to do the laundry, yeah fun, fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Butterick 4914

Woo hoo, 2 UFOs done! I serged up the Maggie London Dress. I posted a review on Pattern Review for the stitching details.

Anyway, I cut this dress out 15 pounds ago, oh boy! It still fits since its knit but its a strong dancewear knit so it is tight. I did rush the sewing but I think it came out okay. Looks better on me than on the mannequin. The neckline isn't as funny looking.

New Look 6736, My Coat!

Its done! Now the finishing touches could have been better done but, its done!

I really love the shape, can't wait to wear it. So far I only put 1 button on, I kind of like it that way but I may change my mind. I'll wear it a few times before I decide. I really is more of a "car" coat type of coat, at least around here.

UFO Stuff

So I searched out some UFOs, these are the ones I could easily find, I fear the ones that are buried!

1. fleece one-piece romper for ds, cut last year so there is no way it will fit
2. overalls for ds cut in the fall, may end up as shorts
3. hawaiian loose cover-up made last summer, needs the arm holes to be dropped and the neck band added
4. Smoon head bands, just need the elastic to be attached to one side
5. elastic shirred top, elastic needs to be finished and seam sewn
6. Maggie London knit dress cut last summer
7. one of those cut up fleece scarves from a kit- way too delicate to actually wear, want to add ribbon to the stems of the flowers so they don't pull off
8. Christmas apron from 5-6 years ago (actually longer I just realized, they were from before I met dh), cut and ready to be sewn
9. messenger style diaper bag half sewn for Italy trip in 2006, needs lining, straps, pockets, closure
10. Hobo bag sewn as muslin for niece's christmas bags, straps need to be redone completely
11. Winter coat, lining needs to be finished, hems and buttons completed
12. Ergo style baby carrier, half sewn

So those are the projects for Jan- eeck, Jan is half over!

Oh and on my way out of my sewing room I saw the linen cropped jacket that just needs to be slip-stitched. And the list grows!

Season of One Thimble!

Funny enough this Spring has really been the Season of One Thimble  (affiliate link).  It started off really innocently, I signed up for ...